Fans pay good money to watch Michael Vick put on the Superman cape. For his teammates, it’s just another perk of the job.
“Amazing,” said linebacker Ernie Sims of watching Vick.
Sims had the privilege of watching from the sideline Monday night as Vick easily shred an overmatched Redskins defense. But it wasn’t as easy as it looked, according to Vick.
“It may have looked easy, but it wasn’t,” Vick said. “Each and every play is critical, each and every down is critical.”
Still, to his defensive teammates, he is somewhat of a superhero. Sims’ eyes still light up when he talks about playing against Vick’s Falcons in 2006.
“I remember just how fast he was, and now I get to see him on my side of the ball, seeing him doing his thing, it’s something else,” Sims said.
Safety Quintin Mikell, a nine-year vet, said Vick makes his job easier.
“I love it [watching Vick],” Mikell said. “The more points they score on offense, the easier it makes it on us.”
Of course, the evolution of Vick didn’t happen over night. No, it has been almost eight years in the making. In his first six seasons, he was often viewed as a freak athlete with no real grasp of the quarterback position. Since coming here, Vick has morphed into the total package. While some credit Andy Reid’s coaching, the coach points at Vick.
“If the player doesn’t want to absorb it, then he’s not going to absorb it,” Reid said. “And Michael, since he’s been here, has been just a sponge with things.”
And a lock for the league’s MVP, right?
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” said Mikell. “He’s playing lights out, and when he’s on his game, nobody can stop him.”
Putting best foot forward
Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have worked painstakingly with Michael Vick to improve his balance and pocket presence.
Now, Vick is applying those lessons.
“It’s fairly easy,” Vick said. “We’re not changing mechanics, we’re just changing things that help in accuracy, your balance, having your feet in the proper position.”
The results? An NFL-best 115.1 rating and 11 TDs against no interceptions.
Imagine if Vick had spent all eight of his NFL seasons under Reid’s tutelage. Maybe the Eagles would have broken their 50-year title drought by now.
“I can’t say what we would’ve accomplished, but I think as far as my growth in the passing game, it would’ve been expedited tremendously,” Vick said.